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Bee Route Short Story Competition for Children living in Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole and Newcastle

Social Democrats Cllr for Greystones District Jodie Neary has this week launched a short story competition in association with her successful Bee Route Project. The Bee Route Project was devised by Cllr Neary who worked with Greystones, Delgany and Kilcoole Tidy Towns giving out free Bee Route Starter Packs and lavender to locals in a bid to get people to grow pollinator-friendly plots in their gardens. Over 150 participants have signed up to the project so far. The success of the project has inspired this week’s launch of the Bee Route Short Story Competition, open to all children 5 years and over from across Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole and Newcastle. The theme will be: The Sunflower and the Bee.

The Competition has been developed by Cllr Neary alongside Wicklow Good News broadcaster Jillian Godsil and producer Marlena Murphy, to encourage children to discover more about biodiversity and to keep their curiosity growing throughout the summer months. The competition will run for approximately five weeks ending on August 7th. A panel of judges (details below) will consist of local artists, writers, Council representatives and people associated with the gardening world. Please send your short story to jodie.neary@socialdemocrats.ie

Speaking on the Short Story Competition, Cllr Neary says:

“The theme for this competition will be: The Sunflower and the Bee. When writing, children can take inspiration from watching bees buzzing around their new pollinator friendly sunflowers if they participated in the Bee Route Project or imagine a bee passing through well- known spots across Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole and Newcastle. It can be anything they want associated with bees, pollinators and nature”.

Cllr Neary says, “I want to encourage children to take part in the competition not only to raise awareness about biodiversity, but also to document their relationship with the natural environment during COVID19 lockdown. Children have such fantastic imaginations and are best placed to really appreciated our surrounding natural environment and they have taken advantage of the lockdown to explore their surroundings in great detail. I know that people would love to read what children have discovered over the last few months, and that’s just in their own back gardens!

“I often feel that children are left out of national discussions on the topic of biodiversity when really it’s children we should be targeting. We need to nurture their curiosity which will be essential in the future preservation of our natural heritage. This is one way we can facilitate people to participate in preserving our natural heritage. I look forward to the contributions and to announce the winners in August. The competition is open to all children regardless of whether they participated in the Bee Route Project or not” concludes Neary.

DETAILS OF THE SHORT STORY COMPETITION:

Timeline:

The competition will run for one month from Monday 6th July to August 7th and is open to all children between the ages of 5 and 12 years, who currently reside in Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole or Newcastle. Winners will be announced during National Heritage Week from 15th August – 23rd. More details to follow.

The competition:

Children are asked to write a short story (by themselves!) of up to 300 words on the subject:  The Sunflower and the Bee. They can take inspiration from watching bees buzzing around their new pollinator friendly plots if they participated in the Bee Route Project or can imagine a bee passing through all the lovely well- known spots across Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole and Newcastle.

Age categories will apply to the following age brackets: 5-6 years, 7-8 years, 9-10, 11-12 years. 

Please email contributions to Jodie.neary@socialdemocrats.ie alongside the name, address and age of the child including a contact number of a parent. *All information will be treated confidentially in line with GDPR guidelines and will not be shared with a third party.

Judging panel:

A panel of judges will include local artists and writers and other people heavily involved in biodiversity work in the area. They include:

Michael O’Reilly, editor of Bray Arts Journal

Jillian Godsil, broadcaster with Wicklow Good News

Marlena Murphy, producer with Wicklow Good News

A representative from a Garden Centre (TBC)

David O’Reilly, Author and member of Greystones Tidy Towns

Deirdre Burns, Wicklow County Council

The winning children:

The competition is being sponsored by the Arboretum and the top five winners will receive vouchers – €100 for the overall winner and €50 for another 4 runner ups! They will also get to have their picture taken by the very kind Eva Blake at a location to be confirmed, together with the other winners (social distancing style!), and individually.

Furthermore, kids will also get to have their stories posted on the Wicklow Heritage Site for National Heritage Week.

We will also pitch the winning stories to Wicklow papers and hopefully get a spread for the chosen story!

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